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The Whistleblowers

What does it mean to be a whistleblower in the 21st century?

When Edward Snowden released thousands of classified documents in June last year, information he acquired while working as an NSA contractor, he could not have foreseen it would be the biggest intelligence leak since the Pentagon Papers, affecting governments all over the world.

While he remains busy in an undisclosed location somewhere in Russia, one of his lawyers, Jesselyn Radack, and former NSA crypto-linguist, Thomas Drake, are visiting Australia to discuss the issues which surround the Snowden case. What does it tell us about freedom, the individual and the state? And what do we need to understand about privacy, free speech and security in our times?

Join host Sally Warhaft with Thomas Drake, whose own story inspired Edward Snowden to act on his conscience, and Jesselyn Radack, Director of National Security and Human Rights with the Government Accountability Project (GAP), for this special edition of the Fifth Estate in partnership with Blueprint for Free Speech and the Centre for Advancing Journalism.

Who?

Portrait of Jesselyn Radack

Jesselyn Radack

Jesselyn Radack is a lawyer for both Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake. She was previously an ethics advisor to the US Department of Justice where she became a whistleblower after discovering that the FBI had violated ethical standards and then the Department of Justice had tried to cover it up. She is the Director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the most prominent whistleblowing support NGO in the US.

Portrait of Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive and technical director for software engineering at the National Security Agency, where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and abuse, the failure of 9/11, as well as the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

The Fifth Estate

Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.

Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.

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